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2020 Ford Focus: Slimmer Outside, Roomier Inside

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2020 Ford Focus; Manufacturer images

Competes with: Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla

Looks like: The Focus gets a more dynamic face and chiseled body

Drivetrain: A slew of engines will be available, depending on market, including two turbocharged EcoBoost units and an available diesel powerplant; a new eight-speed automatic transmission joins the lineup.

Hits dealerships: The new Focus goes on sale in Europe and China this year, followed by North America in 2019.

We weren’t able to see much in Ford’s brief teaser of its new Ford Focus, but we liked the compact car’s new face, especially its more aggressive headlights. Today, Ford revealed the bigger picture, unveiling redesigned versions of the global Focus in hatchback and wagon form (with a four-door sedan also slated to be part of the lineup), though it’s unclear which ones will be coming stateside when they go on sale in late 2019.

Related: Will Ford’s Online Car-Shopping Tool Click With Consumers?

The fourth generation of the compact car rides on an all-new platform, wears a new face and gets a made-over cabin and control layout. A host of new engines will also be available depending on the market.  

Exterior

Outside, Ford said designers focused on aerodynamics, which should reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency. It also gives the car a sleeker, fresher look thanks to a more raked roofline as well as more chiseled body lines.

In front, the grille resembles that of the current generation but looks stretched to the corners. Hammerlike headlights also help give the face a more dynamic look.

In Europe, customers will get a luxurious Focus Vignale trim and sporty ST-Line version, as well as “adventure-oriented” Active and upscale Titanium trims; China will get the ST-Line and Titanium models. No word yet on what versions will come to the U.S.

Interior

Ford has yet to release U.S. specifications, but it says the new model will offer more interior space for all occupants as well as additional cargo room in some body styles. The automaker also said the new Focus will be easier to get in and out of.

Expect a major shift in the cabin’s design and control layout. The automaker didn’t release photos but said the new Focus’ cabin has a “human-centered” design — which sounds appropriate considering 100 percent of drivers are human. An electronic parking brake replaces the current lever-type brake, and the gear shifter is also gone, replaced by a rotary gearshift dial. Both moves should open up room in the center console.

An available Sync 3 8-inch multimedia screen is front and center on the dash; it’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and can be operated using pinch-and-swipe gestures. Ford also said it relocated some of the multimedia system’s switches to the touchscreen, a move we question since the buttons make the system much easier to control (and Cars.com editors much happier).

The 2020 Focus will also get some new available features, like a foot-swipe-activated hands-free liftgate and a wireless charging pad.

Under the Hood

The 2020 Focus will ride on all-new suspension and chassis, which Ford says will provide a 20 percent increase in rigidity for body control.

In China, the Focus will be powered by a range of engines, including the 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder, currently used in the EcoSport subcompact SUV, as well as a new 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine. In Europe, the Focus will use either the 1.5-liter EcoBoost or a 2.0-liter diesel engine. A new eight-speed automatic transmission also joins the lineup. No word yet on which engines will power the U.S. model.

Safety

A suite of available safety features will also join the Focus lineup this year. Called Co-Pilot360, the bundle includes adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and forward collision warnings with automatic emergency braking.

More information about the U.S. version of the Focus will be announced closer to its launch during the second-half of 2019.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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